Suffering Is Not a Pre-Req for Leading Teams

Suffering Is Not a Pre-Req for Leading Teams


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Presenter Bio

Mary Shapiro has focused on leadership for over 30 years at the organization, individual and team level, as a professor, executive trainer, and consultant. Her driving principle is building cultures that enable all people to fully contribute. She is now a Fellow at the Simmons Institute for Inclusive Leadership.

Presentation Description

We all have horror stories about teams we have been on or have led; or have witnessed in our student teams. Often conflict arises because while we may have mapped what we will work on together, we have not discussed how we will work together. In this session we will explore the pragmatic, explicit steps you can take at the beginning of a team and throughout which will increase the likelihood of success.

Pre-Session Materials

To be ready to apply session content to your own team leadership, consider these questions ahead of time:

  1. How many teams are you presently on?
  2. When leading or being a member of a team, what do you find most challenging?
  3. Think about one particular team that you would like to improve: First, assign a rating on the team’s ability to work together (use a scale of 1 to 7, 1 = highly unsatisfied, 7 = highly satisfied). Second, answer: What does the team currently do well? What does it not do well?


Post-Session Exercise

A powerful first step in identifying how to improve your team’s ability to work together, have your team do an exercise similar to what you did in preparing for the session. Ask each member to rate the team’s ability to work together on the same 7-point scale. Ask them to come to a meeting prepared to share their rating, and to explain why that rating, and what would need to change to move the team’s effectiveness forward.

For a deeper dive into creating a team’s infrastructure, and then holding members accountable to that foundational agreement, consider reading any of the available at "ADDITIONAL RESOURCES - TEAMS by Mary Shapiro".


teamwork; leadership

Publication Date



Berklee Online

Suffering Is Not a Pre-Req for Leading Teams